Dietitians Australia welcomes the Albanese Government’s reaffirmed commitment to improving food and nutrition for aged care residents, announced this week. To achieve this, the Government must introduce mandatory malnutrition screening in all residential and in-home aged care settings. An Accredited Practising Dietitian must be engaged for annual on-site menu and mealtime audits.
“It was pleasing to hear the Prime Minister and Minister for Aged Care voice their commitment to improving food and nutrition as part of their five-point plan for turning aged care around in Australia,” Dietitians Australia CEO Robert Hunt said.
“We all know someone in aged care, and many of us will end up in these facilities ourselves in later life,” Mr Hunt said.
“Mealtimes should be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying parts of the day for residents in aged care.”
“If the Government wants to ensure aged care residents get access to healthy, nutritious and appealing meals that meet recommended dietary requirements, then Accredited Practising Dietitians have to be at the table to make this a reality,” Dietitians Australia CEO Robert Hunt said.
“We are still yet to see the finer details on the Government’s five-point plan, but Dietitians Australia has offered our direct assistance to the Government to support them in their goal of making malnutrition in our aged care facilities a thing of the past,” Mr Hunt said.
“We want to see malnutrition screening mandated across the aged care sector in this country. Our Accredited Practising Dietitians can support and upskill aged care staff in this screening process, allowing us to help those most at risk immediately.”
“The Government can’t just be throwing money at the sector, the only way to truly make sure that the investment in aged care is being used for proper care and nutrition is to ensure Accredited Practising Dietitians are involved in developing the on-site menus and engaged to conduct regular mealtime audits,” he said.
“Accredited Practising Dietitians must play a lead role when it comes to menu design to ensure quality, appetising food is being served up for residents and that it also culturally appropriate for each individual.” Mr Hunt said.
Adding an Accredited Practising Dietitian into the aged care setting helps support kitchen and care staff, helping to provide some relief to an already stretched aged care workforce.”
“As the leading voice of Nutrition in Australia, we will do what we can to support the Albanese Government to bolster major health improvements for Australians in aged care. When it comes to what is served on their plates, we are here to help.” Mr Hunt said.
For media enquiries and interviews, contact our Media Officer on 0409 661 920.
Note to editors: Dietitians Australia is the leading voice of nutrition in Australia, representing dietitians nationally and advocating for healthier communities. Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia.